Texas loves its high school football. It’s practically a religion there. That’s why Buzz Bissinger chose Permian High School for his phenomenal book, Friday Night Lights. Every year, plenty of the nation’s top college football recruits come out of the Lone Star State. In fact, you don’t need look much further than Allen, Texas for proof. That’s where a brand new, $60 million stadium, paid for by voter approved public funds, is set to open at the end of this month.
Allen High School, located about 35 minutes from Dallas, is one of the largest high schools in the U.S. with an enrollment around 5,000. The people there love the school and they love their football team, obviously.
So the Eagles will start playing this season in a stadium that probably makes most smaller Division I colleges feel a little insecure about their own facilities.
The Eagles’ new home has 18,000 seats (!), an HD scoreboard, and state-of-the-art weight room and press box. Oh, there’s also an indoor practice facility for the golf team. I’m going to guess the locker rooms are ridiculously nice too, because why spend that kind of cash if you’re not going to pamper the athletes.
So not only will the stadium make opposing teams feel bad about themselves when they get there, it will probably scare the crap out of most of them. I’m sure thousands of fans show up to other high school games throughout Texas, but we’re talking an 18,000 seat stadium. That’s just nuts.
I don’t see how anyone can fault Allen for this, either. They voted it in. The superintendant told CNN that the facility should generate a lot of revenue, which most of will go into the teacher’s fund. Kind of hard to get mad at that, right?
What do you think? Is this overkill for high school football?